All about wine

Enjoying a glass of wine in Toronto, ON, Canada



November 15 – 18, 2012 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 18th annual gourmet food & wine EXPO.  Metro Toronto Convention Centre (north building).  Downtown Toronto near Lake Ontario. Check these guys out!  Information on 2013 wine tours.

Experience the Wine Routes of Spain this Fall 2013

Itineraries for less than you think !  (3nts/$238*)

Tel: (416) 534-8891 Toll Free: (800) 387-6731 (800) EUROPE1 Email:

Gangnam Style with wine!

January 11 – 27, 2013 Niagara Ice Wine Festival and Gala event.  Discovery Pass $40.   Order your Discovery Pass, a ticket to eight wineries to enjoy wine and food pairings throughout the Niagara Icewine Festival. January 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 & 27, 2013 Tour the wintry wine route this January!

Check out celebrities at the Food and Wine Expo 2012. Annual event. Thursday 7-9pm     Mark Napier- Stanley Cup Champion Montreal Canadians ’79 /Edmonton Oilers ‘85

Friday 7-9pm     Dennis Maruk– 60 goal scorer for the Washington Capitals

Sat 3-5pm   Lou Franceschetti– Toronto Maple Leaf and Washington Capital

Sun 2-4     Bob Nevin – Stanley Cup Champion Toronto Maple Leafs ’62 & ‘63

James Molesworth of gives a score of 92 to Almaviva 2008  Puente Alto, Maipo Valley, Chile from the Vinatges Classics Collection, February 2012. $135.  Great Christmas gift! To order call 1-800-668-5226, press 4.

I recently tasted one of Chile’s top organic white wines and it was fabulous. No heat wave for this meno lady!  2011  Cono Sur Organic Chardonnay from the San Antonio Valley. LCBO # 230565 $11.95

Wines of Spain, booth 319 – Gourmet Food & Wine Expo, Toronto 2012

Wines of Germany / Booth 500 (near Vintages booth, 501)

Yup, it’s the season to buy wine for the Holidays.  Just don’t choose wine alone —  think outside the box and choose something unique to go along with an excellent bottle of wine; it’s a good way to have a friend remember you. Always.  So, make the gift count. Do a bit of research and pair the perfect wine with the perfect gift.  If you’ve deep pockets, you may wish to choose a wine tour.  The wine tour can be close to home or in a distant land, say Spain, Australia or New Zealand. Some wine tours are on horseback as are extremely popular in Spain. Holland America Line offers cruises that highlight wine; especially on Holland America’s cruise to New Zealand and Australia.  Love the ski hills?  Whistler, British Columbia on Canada’s west coast has an annual food and wine festival that could do the trick.  November 8 – 11, 2012 (see end of this post for all the Whistler details).  Toronto hosts the 18th annual Food and Wine Expo at the Metro Convention Centre (north building) on Front Street (near CN Tower).   Search for the wine tour that will really ring a few pleasure bells. To help with your internet travel search here are a few ideas and websites.


Logroño (La Rioja) Don Jacobo vineyards in Spain.  Tour the spectacular vineyards on horseback and afterwards return to the tasting room.  Accommodation is available in the immediate area.  10 suites, 5-star hotel  Senorio de Villarrica vineyards in the village of San Asensio, Spain. Tastings and courses at Senorio de Villarrica vineyards in Spain.

Best airfares to Spain at wholesale prices. Traveling there? Call us for a quote at 1-800-387-6731. We are a Canadian Tour Operator specializing in all different types of tours in Spain plus we offer great airfares since 1973.Visit us online at  Iberia Plus card allows for an expert or a novice to enter the world of wine.  Just ask your cabin crew about the Iberia Plus card.  Wines selected  by Custodio L. Zamarra  —  member of the Todo Vino Guide’s Tasting Committee; Sommelier of Zalacain in Madrid; and winner of the National Gastronomy Prize  —  to be enjoyed at 30,000 feet on Iberia Airlines.  I agree with Custodio and enjoyed an excellent Tinto/Red from Navarra: Gran Feudo Viñas Viejas Reserva 2004.  An excellent white with grassy notes and fruity on the palate is Montespina Verdejo 2008 from the Avelino Vegas winery.

Austria   Interesting article written by Jancis Robinson in the Financial Times.

More Gift Ideas for Even More Drinking Pleasure

Choose the perfect glass for wine.  A good wine deserves the right ambiance, which includes the right people and the right accessories. The perfect Austrian glass culture à la Riedel – such as beautiful glasses, carafes and decanters – enhance the pleasure of wine and add to the range of gift giving ideas.  Travel with Wine! Austrian Wine Christmas Wish


Apple wine  (apfelwein) served in very popular epelwoi pubs in Frankfurt, Germany, has been produced since the time of Charlemagne — some 1,200-years-ago.  You’ll find the highest quality apple wine in Frankfurt, GermanyLorsbacher Thal is in the Sachsenhausen (original area of the city) section of Frankfurt.  It is here at Lorsbacher Thal that apple wine is made from the finest apples from Frankfurt apple orchards.  Frankfurt is known as the “City of Apple Wine“.  The original 0.3L diamond-encrusted ribbed designed glass is used at Lorsbacher as it has been for over one-hundred-years.  The diamond-design allows for a better grip on the glass.  I tried it and it works, especially after eating delicious apple strudel with my eager fingers. Williams Christ Pear Schnaps is perfect at the end of a meal.   Outside garden terrace is perfect on a sunny day.  Seats about 12o guests.  Extremely high quality simple fare. Average price of main-course: € 8,00

Don’t forget, April and May is the season for fresh asparagus dishes in Germany.  You’ll find the finest produce at farmer’s markets.  Most markets are close to city centre Town Hall.  I visited the open-air Konsti Konstabler wache in Frankfurt.  Check out Canada’s Amy Rosen who travelled to Germany to find the best asparagus recipes.

Thorsten of Lorsbacher Thal   Ride the Frankfurt Apple Wine Express in Old Town Centre in Frankfurt.

German Wines

Wine has shaped the history, culture, art and, not least of all, the people of Germany themselves. A friendly, nearly Southern European cheerfulness sets the tone not just in the vineyards, but in the cities as well.
Freiburg in the Black Forest  (Baden wine region) is famous for its “Spätburgunder” (Pinot Noir), Müller-Thurgaus and “Grauer Burgunder” (Pinot Gris) especially. Koblenz nestled in the corner where the Rhine meets the Moselle brings together two of Germany?s oldest wine areas, the Moselle and the Middle Rhine,  famous for their Rieslings. Mainz on the northern tip of Rhinehessen is where the Silvaner reigns supreme  among other stalwart whites including Rivaner and Rieslings. Trier lies in the heart of the westerly wine region, the Moselle River, which is  home to many fine whites and particularly the fruity Riesling and the  crispy Elbling; Wiesbaden in the heart of the Rheingau harvests well-regarded Rieslings and Pinot Noirs; while Würzburg in the northern Bavarian region of Franconia, offers mineral-rich but light Rieslings.
Each of these cities provides a unique combination of culture and wine,  and they are perfect for the individual traveler. They are all  convenient to Frankfurt Airport, reachable by train and still offer a  refreshing change for all of the senses.


Join us for the first 2012 “31 Days of German Riesling” promotion in Canada!

Canadians will have the opportunity to experience German Rieslingas they have never had before this summer – restaurants across the country will pledge to serve German Rieslings in at least one of the following ways:

Starting in July, the web site will host a fabulous contest!  Restaurants customers will be invited to the site to enter a contest to Win a Long Weekend for Two in Berlin by sending their photo enjoying a glass of German Riesling at one of the participating restaurants. Each participating restaurant will be put into a draw for a member of their staff to win a free educational wine trip to Germany, too. Contest starts on July 1st, 2012 and ends on September 30th, 2012, at 11:59 pm.

So raise a glass to “The 31 Days of German Riesling” – a new habit you’ll never want to break!

Further information on wine tours in Germany:   Please call toll free (USA/Canada): 1.800.817.8137 or international: +49.6475.911.023

Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

Araxi Long Table Culinary/wine event . North Arm Farm, Pemberton, BC

Araxi Long Table Culinary/wine event . North Arm Farm, Pemberton, BC

Cornucopia!  Head to the all-season resort at Whistler, British Columbia, Canada.  November 8 – 11, 2012.

Araxi restaurant for fine dining in Whistler Village (1 hour north of Vancouver, BC). Araxi hosts several summer outdoor dinner events at its organic North Arm Farm in Pemberton, BC.  During the Whistler Film Festival in the fall, Araxi hosts a 5-course dinner, wine tasting and silent auction. Executive chef James Walt designed the 2011 shindig.

Lakeshore district in Kelowna, British Columbia

The Ritz London

The Canadian Tourism Commission recently chose SUMMERHILL PYRAMID WINERY as a top tourism experience. I’ve not visited the winery; but I trust the CTC review. Summerhill Pyramid Winery and Sunset Organic Bistro are two of Canada’s best tourism experiences,  according to the organization that markets Canadian tourism to the world. The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) has added the winery and restaurant to the Signature Experiences Collection®, used by the CTC in its international marketing efforts. The Collection now includes 115 adventures from coast to coast to coast, some of which I hope to write about for my readers over the coming months.

…a message on Italian wine from Le Sommelier :

One cannot talk about Italy’s most important producers without including Bruno Giacosa. A living legend, this third-generation winemaker has been making worldclass wine since the 1940s! He has been described as the “Genius of Neive” and his wines have been referred to as the “Romanée-Conti of Piedmont.”
Dante Scaglione, Giacosa’s long-time enologist, compares the 2007 & 2008 vintages, “the 2008s are more classic and fresh and will have a longer life. But they’re very young today. The 2007s were more drinkable at the same stage.”

Due to the anticipated response, wines are available on a first come, first served basis. These wines are only available by ordering directly through Le Sommelier, and will not be made available through LCBO Vintages. Wines are shipped in hand-made wooden cases of six bottles. Prices include HST.
Sincerely,Bernard Stramwasser

Le Sommelier 416.603.7026

p.s. you may wish to try this white wine from Lazio, Italy.  It’s not an expensive wine; so, it is ideal for everyday enjoyment.  Colli Albani DOC Superiore Bianco is a light white wine that pairs well with white meat and fish and mild tasting white cheese.  The light and fruity taste makes this bianco perfect for a green salad with just a hint of oil and lemon dressing.  Of course a cheese and fruit plate (cherry, strawberry, raspberry, mango slices, blueberries) is another option.

Mont-Tremblant Village / Aux Truffes

Recently, I was for the first time at one of Canada’s famous all-season resorts in Quebec. Mont Tremblant is about 1.5 hours’ north of the city of Montreal, Quebec in the Laurentian mountains by automobile and just 75 minutes’ with Porter airlines from the city of Toronto. My tour group dined at .  The restaurant is but a few minutes’ stroll from the Westin Resort & Spa. Big, soft and fully flakes of white, white snow fell over the resort as we dined on seafood, venison and sweetbreads and enjoyed much excellent wine.  A white wine from Alsace I had not tasted before the evening…well, what can I say but I adored this wine.  I highly suggest your giving this 2010 Pinot Gris a try; it pairs well with meats and seafood, so it is heaven sent to enjoy alone or with food.  The red wine we enjoyed was a 2010 vintage as well but from a blend of grapes grown in the south of France in the Rhone valley. Saint-chinian Donnadieu Cuvée Mathieu et Marie is a spicy and robust Syrah with the distinctive peppery taste. Saint Chinian takes it name from Anham, the Benedictine monk who founded the Saint Laurent monastery in 794 on the left bank of the River Vernazobre in France.

Aux Truffes Restaurant, Mont-Tremblant Resort, Quebec, Canada

New Zealand wine event must-attend!   Happens only every three-years!  Next up is 2013,  28th to 31st January, in Wellington.  CEO Philip Gregan says Pinot Noir NZ is a springboard for overseas visitors to experience the whole of the New Zealand wine story as they often continue their New Zealand trip to absorb other regions and grape varieties.

For more information visit  or you can follow @PinotNoirNZ on Twitter or Pinot NZ on Facebook.

VIA RAIL has Canada on sale at 50% off! Economy, Business, Sleeper and Sleeper Plus class are all on sale throughout the entire network at 50% off the adult regular fare until October 18, 2012.  No advance purchase necessary for this offer. Booking dates October 11 to 18, 2012 for travel dates from October 11 to December 19, 2012, and from January 7 to 31, 2013 (incl.).

Elegant Holiday Cocktails seminar. $50. November 26, 2012. 7 – 8 pm. LCBO Bayview Village 2901 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario. Telephone 416-222-7658  Contests, food pairings with wine information.

Check out Natalie’s latest book and app to locate the best wines at affordable prices.

CORNUCOPIA is here again!  November 7 – 11, 2012.  The action takes place on Canada’s west coast in Whistler, British Columbia (1.5 hrs. north of Vancouver) with many exciting events. Let’s get this party started.

Here’s a free event that takes place at Cornucopia on WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7th:
Whistler Chef’s Challenge 10am – 5pm
Come check out Whistler’s own Viking Stadium where the some of the top chefs from Vancouver, Whistler, Australia, and beyond will duel it out in a quickfire cooking challenge. Chef’s must shop for, design and create their one dish for the Judges to sample and decide who will take on the finals the following day! Event is FREE for the audience, and runs in one hour slots from 10am-5pm.

Food Network Stage / Gourmet Food & Wine Expo (wine with prosciutto & melon)

FYI Organic farms/weddings, British Columbia  Sustainable wines of Chile.      November 15 – 18, 2012, Toronto, Ontario (Metro Convention Centre (north building).

Gourmet Gala with Christopher Waters, VINES Magazine, editor and InterVin Head Judge. Friday Nov. 16, 2012. 5:30 reception / Dinner & wine pairings 6:30. $215. per guest. for tickets

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